In Portugal: illegal for bosses to text employees after work

In Portugal: illegal for bosses to text employees after work

The country is adapting its labour legislation to the new remote work realities

New legislation came into force at the start of this past weekend in Portugal, with the provision to give the country’s workers a more balanced and sanctioned work-life balance in their lives. The Government, led by the Socialist Party, argued that the new laws are needed to respond to the context set by the pandemic and the increased need for working from home.

One of the big provisions in said legislation is that employers cannot contact workers after the end of official working hours and could face penalties if they do so.

Drawing a hard border between professional and personal lives

Portugal wants to firmly position itself as a country that welcomes and even encourages telework, digital nomadism and other such non-traditional office-based work concepts. It was the first country to start amending its regulations so that they would adapt to the increased rates and need for remote working, making it even obligatory, wherever that is possible, at the start of this year.

Although it currently enjoys one of the highest shares of COVID-vaccinations, the authorities have considered that remote working is here to stay, and that reality needs to be addressed accordingly.

Other provisions in the legislation state that companies must help out the expenses incurred by employees as a result of converting their homes to offices. These can include electricity bills, but not water usage.

The companies should try to tackle loneliness, as well, which on the other hand can be an unfortunate side effect of working from one’s home. They have to organize a face-to-face meeting at least once every two months. The employers are not allowed to monitor their employees while the latter are working at home, either.

The provisions, however, will not apply to companies that have less than 10 workers on their payroll.



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